There are times when we have words to share with others. There are times we have words only for ourselves. And there are some times – dark, and hopefully fleeting – when we flounder for words even for ourselves.
I thank God during those times for Words not our own to find ourselves in again.
Last week a friend and I made it to daily Mass. (Which, with two small children under 2, was no small feat for us to pull off.) Wednesdays are the weekly all-school Mass for our parish, which I love – kindergartners stumbling over petitions, first-graders fidgeting in their seats, second-graders belting out the Alleluia. The perfect kind of daily Mass for a squirmy toddler S.
But in the blur that has been my life (and my brain) as of late, the only part of the Mass that I heard was the Gospel. It wasn’t the reading for the day; it was a simple passage chosen by the kindergarten teacher who planned the liturgy. But in this sharp moment that pulled my attention away from S and the piles of books he was throwing on the floor, I felt like the words were directed Right At Me.
Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.
I love my life as a mother. But to embrace it meant I had to give up a life that I loved. A life of more freedom and less responsibilities. A life when I was in charge of my own schedule and my own time. A life where I could focus more on me and less on others.
I think – I hope, trust, on the good days, believe – that I will love my life as a mother of two. But to begin to embrace it, I have had to give up a life that I loved. A life where I felt healthy and well and in control. A life that was known and finally beginning to settle into a norm. A life that I knew and was happy within.
The last few months, the beginning of this pregnancy, have been hard in ways I never imagined. I don’t yet have the words to share what it has meant. But suffice it to say, it has not been easy or seamless or bright. I am challenged every day in ways I never expected.
When I lack words, I know I am lost. Which is exactly where I find myself these days. So the surprise of a few Words that spoke to me, that gave me a glimmer of hope, that reminded me of the call and the center of my life – those Words were pure gift.
Dying, but rising. Loving, but losing. Following, and finding.
Perhaps those are words enough.